Focus Verse: My God will reject them because they have not obeyed him; they will be wanderers among the nations. (17)
Disobedience always causes God to turn away from us because He is righteous and cannot endorse sin.
Focus Verse: Israel was a spreading vine; he brought forth fruit for himself. As his fruit increased, he built more altars; as his land prospered, he adorned his sacred stones. (1)
The more Israel prospered, the more the people of the land worshiped false gods and ignored the One Who was the cause for their wealth. Fame often causes people to lose their faith. The more human souls increase in money, material things, or knowledge, the more likely their belief in God is to decrease. But this does not have to be the case for us. No matter how much we increase or prosper, we need to remember our Creator.
Focus Verse: I will not carry out my fierce anger, nor will I devastate Ephraim again. For I am God, and not a man—the Holy One among you. I will not come against their cities. (9)
Even though we sin repeatedly and determinedly turn away from God, He does not always punish us as we deserve. Instead, He has a heart of compassion. Sin angers Him greatly, but He does not always carry out His wrath against us. He has the power to destroy us completely, but instead He endures with us because He loves us. When someone so much as cuts in front of us on the freeway, we’re about ready to end their life; but thank God that God is a longsuffering God, and not a quick-tempered human like us.
Focus Verse: It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else’s foundation. (20)
Our Christian friends who attend church with us every Sunday DO NOT need us to share the Gospel with them (again). We need to share the Gospel with those who have not yet been told. In Luke 5:32, Jesus said: “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” Since we are called to be the light of the world, we have to go out into the darkness to shine. We have sat at God’s table and been filled with living water and the bread of life, now we must go out and feed the hungry. We have seen the glory of God, now we must tell the blind how they too can receive sight. We have been found, now it is our turn to search for the lost.